The House is set to vote this week on legislation (HR-1259) to shorten the disciplinary notice and appeals period for VA employees, following approval last week by the Veterans Affairs Committee. The bill would set a ten-day limit to respond to proposed discipline within the agency; a 45-day time limit for an MSPB hearing officer to decide any appeal brought there (with similar time limits applied to the internal appeals process for “Title 38” employees); a seven-day limit to appeal a decision by the three-member MSPB review board into federal court; require the MSPB to give more deference to the department’s decision; reduce annuities of those convicted of a felony that influenced their job performance; and empower the VA to recoup awards and relocation payments for later misconduct. Several Democrats objected to the measure, arguing that it would weaken protections for whistleblowers who claim that disciplinary actions were retaliatory, and eliminate the right of union-represented employees to appeal through the negotiated grievance process as an alternative to the MSPB route. They suggested that the bill will be amended in the Senate, on the assumption that it will pass the House.